Aftercare Approach to Addiction Treatment

At Serenity Knolls, we believe that residential treatment can be an essential step in a person’s path out of the despair of addiction. However, we are also aware that treatment is just one step on that lifelong path. To achieve our objective of best preparing our residents to successfully achieve long-term recovery, we are proud to provide a robust aftercare program for each man and woman who completes at least 30 days in our residential program.

Learn More About Our Lifelong Aftercare Services

The Serenity Knolls aftercare program includes weekly meetings at two locations, one in San Francisco and one in Marin County. Program alumni are welcome to attend either or both of these meetings each week. Participation in the aftercare program offers many benefits, including but not limited to the following:

  • Structured guidance to ensure a productive transition out of care
  • Support to ensure that participants maintain and build upon the progress they made while in treatment
  • Ongoing connection to the recovery community
  • Opportunity to give and receive support, share insights, and learn from the experiences of others in recovery
  • Ability to prevent small problems from becoming major impediments to continued recovery
  • Education to deepen one’s understanding of addiction and recovery
  • Positive feedback, including a monthly chip meeting that celebrates individuals who have achieved milestones in recovery

Aftercare meetings are typically designed to be topic-focused discussions or educational sessions, with one meeting each month also designated as the chip meeting. As an individual establishes a firmer foundation in his or her own recovery, he or she may begin to play a more active role in supporting others and giving back to the recovery community. For example, as indicated in the list above, many aftercare participants serve as sponsors to newcomers in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). The Serenity Knolls alumni family also includes a number of men and women who volunteer their time and insights at our residential center and in various other ways. Sharing the message of recovery and serving as positive examples for others are central tenets of the 12-Step recovery model, which our program is based on. These are excellent ways of reaffirming one’s own recovery.

While we all understand that recovery can be a challenging experience that requires dedicated effort, we also know that joy has an important place in the lives of each person who has overcome an addiction to alcohol or another drug. In other words, sobriety is meant to be enjoyed, and the members of our aftercare program definitely believe in having fun. Group meetings are often vibrant and happy gatherings, and participants have many opportunities stay involved with one another and connect to the place where their new life began. For example, each year a variety of activities are planned including an alumni picnic, a golf tournament, and a recovery retreat. We also have wonderful events through the holidays to which all our alumni and family members are invited.

One of the most important and, we believe, impressive, features of the Serenity Knolls aftercare program is that program alumni have lifetime access to this service at no charge. We encourage all residents to commit to attending aftercare meetings for at least six months after their time in residential treatment, but any man and woman who completes a minimum of 30 days of residential treatment at Serenity Knolls can participate in our aftercare program for the rest of his or her life.

We are proud that, in addition to helping individuals during the initial months of their post-treatment recovery, our aftercare program has become a foundational element of continued recovery for many individuals who have continued to participate for years after their time in residential care.

We are also immensely proud of the fact that we offer a similar form of lifetime support, again at no charge, for the family members of men and women who complete at least 28 days of residential treatment at Serenity Knolls. Each weekend, we host either an educational group or a process group for residents who are currently in treatment. These sessions are also open to program alumni and family members, including loved ones of current residents and of alumni. We also host the Partners in Recovery group every other Sunday. As with the Saturday groups, Partners in Recovery is open to current residents, alumni, and family members.

Over the decades since Serenity Knolls was founded, our treatment center has been the place where thousands of individuals have found their way out of the darkness of addiction and begin walking the bright path of long-term recovery. The successes that our current and former residents have achieved are a testament to their strength and dedication, to the skills and compassion of our treatment professionals, and to the collective power of the recovery community.

To learn more about how Serenity Knolls is prepared to support you or a loved one long after the successful completion of a residential treatment experience, or for answers to any specific questions that you may have about any aspect of our programming, please feel free to contact us at your convenience. We look forward to speaking with you and helping you determine if Serenity Knolls is the perfect place for yourself or your loved one.

Continuing Care

At Serenity Knolls, our commitment to our residents does not end with the completion of residential care. Instead, we recognize that recovery is a lifelong process and we are dedicated to walking alongside those who come to us for care for the long-term to ensure that they have the best possible chance of living a fulfilling life of recovery. To that end, we are proud to provide a range of continuing care options for individuals we have completed our residential treatment program.

Our commitment to long-term care begins before a resident even leaves our program. During the last two weeks of treatment, we work closely with residents to create a discharge plan that meets their needs and allows them to continue to build upon the progress they have made while in residential treatment with us. These discharge plans are individualized such that no two plans are alike. Rather than take a one-size-fits-all approach, we instead work with each resident to tailor the discharge plan to his or her individual needs.

Once each resident completes the first three steps of the Alcoholics Anonymous 12-Step program and has completed his or her Amends letter, we work with them to finalize their discharge plan. The discharge plan helps the residents identify pertinent information that he or she has learned in relation to his or her triggers and substance abuse. Each resident also identifies what resources are available to aid in his or her recovery. The counselor then reviews the aftercare plan with the resident prior to discharge.

We recognize that transitioning directly into other forms of care after the completion of residential treatment gives individuals the best possible chance of maintaining their sobriety and minimizes the risk of relapse. Exceptional continuity of care is essential for helping individuals continue on in their sobriety journeys.

In order to ease the transition back into their everyday lives and give them the best possible chance of maintaining the progress that they have made, many of our residents are discharged into sober living homes. If a resident wishes to transition into this type of care after residential treatment is complete, arrangements are made for a representative from his or her chosen sober living home to pick him or her up from our center for a site visit and orientation. As described above, the recommendation is a direct transition into the next level of care so that each person minimizes his or her risk of relapse.

For residents who are going home at the end of residential treatment, another option is outpatient treatment as it provides additional structure, support, and care. Although Serenity Knolls only provides residential care, we work closely with treatment providers who can offer other levels of outpatient care. The primary levels of care offered in the community are:

  • Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP): PHP often acts as a first step between residential care and outpatient life. During PHP, residents commonly receive therapy, participate in groups, and engage in other activities that further build their recovery skills and sober living abilities.
  • Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP): IOP generally acts as a step-down from PHP care or a step-up from traditional outpatient care. IOP is similar to PHP, except that it often takes place only a few hours per week, allowing individuals to have time for work and family commitments. IOP generally includes individual therapy, groups, and a range of other activities.
  • Traditional Outpatient Care: Traditional outpatient care is the least intensive level of treatment offered. This type of care includes weekly individual therapy appointments with a treatment provider in the individual’s community and may also include groups, meetings, and other interventions. In many instances, it is generally up to the individual to select the interventions that he or she wants and build them into his or her life.

All residents who are discharged from our residential treatment program are provided with a referral to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings in their communities, a Serenity Knolls phone contact list, a list of potential sponsors, and, if needed, other healthcare referrals such as referrals to a therapist or psychiatrist.

Residents of Serenity Knolls who complete 28 days of residential treatment are eligible to participate in the weekly Aftercare Program which includes meetings that take place weekly in Marin County and San Francisco. Alumni are welcome to go to either or both meetings. The format of the meetings is either topic-focused discussions or is educational in nature. Furthermore, the last meeting of every month is a chip meeting during which chips are given out to celebrate the varying lengths of sobriety of each participant. This meeting is open to all alumni who have completed treatment at Serenity Knolls and is a lifetime benefit provided at no charge.

If you or someone you love might benefit from the high-quality and effective care that we have been providing for more than 25 years, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are happy to answer any questions you may have and are honored to be a part of your or your loved one’s healing journey.

Serenity Knolls helped not only my husband – but our whole entire family. We go back every year during the holidays to visit and not a day goes by where we are not grateful for where we all are now.

– Henriette C.